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Paranormal Fantasy Review: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (All Souls Trilogy #2)

borrowed from the library

Synopsis from Goodreads

Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library,she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realise that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.

Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers...

Amazon  US/UK(£3.85) | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond


* * *
 Oh God, this was such a gorgeous history fest, I was probably slobbering in my excitement all over this (library) book! *only joking*

Joking aside, I love Elizabethan times, and Deborah Harkness as a true historian delivered it beautifully - Kit freaking Marlow, you were such a jerk, Sir! John Dee, Walter Raleigh, William Cecil, effing Bess herself and many more...

This was an amazing, exhilarating ride and I was absorbing all the fabulous little details that really made me fall into the time frame of the book. 

You can probably see that this review won't be coherent because when I love a book THAT much it's hard to say all the things I want to without giving you any spoilers.

Shadow of Night is no less exciting and is no less frustrating than A Discovery of WItches, it's just set in the past instead of present because Matthew and Diana timewalk into Elizabethan past in order for her to learn how to control the gift and give them a much needed reprieve from hounding them Congregation.

I've seen some comparison to Twilight considering lack of sex between Matthew and Diana, and it's true to some extent for the first book... but make no mistake, de Clairmont is no Edward and as a very old vampire (we are talking 1000+ years old) he is very cautious, controlled, unhurried and not eager to reveal his numerous secrets. He is also extremely complex, prone to animal possessiveness and loves and grieves too deeply. 

Diana slowly chips away at his defences, but it takes time, and their understanding of each other and development of their relationships move slowly. However, when Matthew at last gives in partly with the help of his magnificent vampire father (I have a crash on Phillip, sorry) there is plenty of intimacy between Diana and him.

Phillip and Gallowglass - only two of numerous supporting characters I absolutely adored, and I'm staking my claim on them *grinning* LOVED them! There are just so many crazy and gorgeous and wonderful characters, you don't know where to start. There is Jack and Annie, scary vampire Master of London, charmer Raleigh, crazy Austrian emperor with a fixation on redheads... and many more.

I think it's the complexity of vampires among other things that won me over. I've been craving this...consistency, this depth without really thinking about it before. I dislike intensely when vampires are humanized to the point of absurdity while logically their enormous differences in strength, abilities and great longevity which distance them from pettiness of our everyday life is what makes them so mysterious and alluring to us.  

Shadow of Night delivers a bounty of delicious adventure, epic love, an intricate plot and complex characters. It also left me frustrated and awed because I might have gotten some answers but developed even more questions by the time it ended. Overall, I can't recommend it high enough. READ IT!

* * *
Боже, боже, какая роскошная книга! Гэбальдонисты, вам сюда! По сложности сюжета, количеству прекрасных персонажей, эпичной любви и глубине погружения в исторический период Дебора Харкнесс совершенно не уступает перу Дианы Гэбальдон. Она - историк по профессии, и это очень хорошо видно по её сосредоточенности на маленьких деталях Елизаветинской эры, ибо именно туда прыгают во времени Мэттью и Диана.

Перед парой стоит две задачи - спрятаться от Конгрегации и найти сильную ведьму, способную помочь Диане контролировать её дар. Конечно, если они найдут манускрипт, с которого начались их неприятности, Ашмор 782, это окажется приятным бонусом...

Однако, все хорошие планы имеют обыкновение меняться в лице реальности, и жизнь Дианы и Мэттью вместо задуманной передышки превращается в полный хаос с приключениями похлеще предыдущих и столкновениеми с огромным количеством исторических личностей. Находясь в прошлом, они также невольно меняют настоящее, оставляя следы, которые лихорадочно заметают их друзья и родственники, посвящённый в их планы.

Я читала, захлёбываясь от восторга, и вам советую. Не проходите мимо этой замечательной серии! 


Aurian said...

Wow, this sounds amazing. I have to put this series on my list, thanks for the great review.

Mel said...

Okay, I think I will have to push A Discover of Witches up my to read list. Perhaps for my holiday in May so I can focus on it entirely! :-)

Christina said...

I totes am guilty of that Twilight comparison, but their every relationship dynamic just screamed it to me. Including his refusal to sex her up until marriage, which seemed a little more ridiculous in a dude who's been alive so long and knows how to do it without hurting her.

Who knows, though? I loved the first one, so maybe I just wasn't in the right frame of mind for PNR when I read this one.

I do drool all over the history and wines, though. Weeeeee.

Blodeuedd said...

I really should read this one, but does the library have it? *goes to check*

Ellie said...

Honestly why does everyone feel the need to compare every book with a vampire in to Twilight? It's like brooding, difficult men didn't exist before 2005. ;) I saw some people complaining that The Accursed had an inappropriate Twilight cover...I quite like the Twilight designs anyway and this was nothing like them...it was maybe more True Blood like. Aaaargh. It's infuriating, I tell ya!

Melliane said...

wow a wonderful review, I really need to read book 1, it's just a big book lol...

Micheline said...

Eeeek I can't wait to get my hands on book one of this series already!! Feels like it's been on my wishlist for AGES. SO happy you loved the sequel this much, gave me something more to get excited about :D Thanks for the wonderful & insightful review ♥

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Aurian, I recommend this series with all my heart!

Mel, yes please! I'd really love to know what you think...

Christina, funnily enough I could understand his logic, so book #2 actually made me love him and appreciate him more than book #1.

Blodeuedd, I really hope you would! fingers crossed for the library

Ellie, no escape from it unfortunately Twilight and Fifty Shades will become classic lit with time from the sheer number of people who read them ;)))

D., it is. That's why it's good to read it in bits not in one go.

Micheline, I saw that you've got a copy. I really hope you enjoy it!!!

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